“If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone,
then you are forced to expand your consciousness.”
-Les Brown, author, speaker

“Why would I hire a life coach? I’m intelligent, aware, strong-willed and can make my own decisions without someone telling what to do. It wouldn’t work for me.”

Those three sentences sum up the reason many people refuse to seek out a life coach. After more than three decades of coaching, I have heard every excuse in the world. Most stem from misinformation but mostly from fear.

Most people believe that they can do it on their own. This mindset is a road to disaster because no one can achieve exceptional results on their own. Or, perhaps they simply will not make an investment in themselves.

I have had many coaches in my life and a number of what I call “mastermind” groups. Every experience has helped me see a new path, clarify a vision, set goals and move forward with passion.

When I started working with private clients in the mid 1970’s, the term “coaching” only existed in the field of sports. Now, it has become ubiquitous and accepted worldwide.

Life coaching encompasses coaching in a number of areas. There’s executive and career coaching, relationship coaching as well as financial coaching. There are professional coaches for every age group, ambition, life stage, and goal you can imagine. There is no doubt that having a properly trained professional coach can be a real asset in helping people move towards more effectiveness and productivity in personal, professional and business situations.

And, it’s flexible! Coaches and clients can be in different places. Sessions often take place by phone or Skype. Coaches help clients identify blocks, challenges, strategies and opportunities.

The phrase, “The eye cannot behold itself,” is the core of coaching. Regardless of our intelligence, we cannot see our blind spots.

The quality of your life is a function of the quality of questions you ask yourself. Therefore, the best life coaches know how to ask the type of questions that evoke answers that elevate the quality of your life.

There’s also accountability. When you go it on your own, you are only accountable to yourself. When you are only accountable to yourself, you can come up with endless excuses and stories of why you can’t or didn’t so something.

Experienced life coaches do not offer authoritative prescriptions or platitudes. They empower clients to come up with their own answers, dreams and strategies to achieve them.

If you ignite your brain with life coaching, you will develop a better relationship with yourself, your loved ones, your friends and business associates.

Most people who are stuck in life and/or feel like a victim, blame outside circumstances, others or themselves for the quality of their lives.

When you blame, you cannot get unstuck, see new opportunities and move forward with hope, passion and joy. While people and life situations do influence us, they cannot freeze us.

When you take full responsibility for your life, without guilt, you can move in a positive direction. Letting go frees up the energy used up by resentments, anger, blame and bitterness.

What are the signs that hiring a coach would be the right thing for you?

1. You are going through a major life transition. This could be career change, health change or relationship change. This kind of stress is not only hard on you but it is a burden to treat family and friends like therapists. A life coach can help you make this transition easier.

2. You lack a clear vision of your future. You can only set clear goals when you have a clear vison. If your vision is too big, you can freeze by being overwhelmed. A coach will help you clarify your vision, define your life priorities and identify the values that motivate you.

3. You are seeking purpose. You can be wildly successful and still feel unfulfilled and spiritually empty. A life coach can ask the right questions to help you identify what ignites your passion and purpose.

4. You are constantly irritable. This means that you are living in a reactive state. You might have sudden bursts of inappropriate anger at loved ones, pick fights, argue for no reason or get trapped into road rage. You are in emotional pain.

Emotional pain also can manifest as lacking confidence. If you extend your arm and hold a glass a full glass of water for one minute, you would have no problem. If you hold it for hours, your arm would get fatigued. Holding onto old hurts, emotional wounds, traumas, grief and sadness is exhausting and saps energy. A life coach can help you identify the cause of your bitterness, anger, blame or resentment and give you the tools to let go of pain.

5. You are scared. Be honest, we are all scared of something. You might be afraid of failure, success, change, rejection, being alone, appearing stupid, being rejected or, the unknown. Some individuals can move through fear by turning into energy and excitement but others get stuck, frozen in place and cannot make empowering choices. A life coach will help you discover and examine you fears, give you the tools to break through them and take action.

Some of the most successful people in the world have coaches. Do they absolutely need them? No. However, by having a life coach, you have the edge to live an exceptional life.

As Albert Einstein said, “Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”

Author's Bio: 

Speaker, expert on the psychology of “applied imagination,” for extreme success, peak performance coach, author: Quantum Leap Thinking: An Owner’s Guide to the Mind.
James Mapes is the founder of Quantum Leap Thinking™, creator of The Transformational Coach™, expert on the psychology of “applied imagination,” best- selling author, highly acclaimed business speaker, consultant, seminar leader and personal excellence coach. For over 30 years, James has been an ardent student of human behavior and dedicated to helping individuals, teams and organizations identify and break through barriers to reach their goals and achieve success. He encourages people to be open to new ways of thinking, and his goal is to help everyone make the "quantum leap" toward more creative, productive and confident lives. For both businesses and individuals, his message promotes an innovative, powerful way of thinking and provides a new-found mastery over their imagination and perceptions so that, in his words, "the invisible becomes visible and the impossible becomes possible." The results have been nothing short of extraordinary, creating key breakthroughs in both organizational and personal excellence.

James Mapes' success as a speaker and highly regarded authority on the imagination, creative thinking, communication, managing change, organizational problem-solving, successful teamwork, leadership and coaching is due to his early training as an actor and experience as a theatrical producer. In 1969, he graduated from California State University with a Master of Arts degree in theater and speech. He then worked in repertory theater, off-Broadway and directed two of his own theater companies, amassing dozens of television and movie credits. As a performer, he developed a unique stage presence with a special talent for connecting with his audience. Mapes' work has earned him appearances on CNN, The Today Show, Good Morning America and Fox Family Channel, among other media outlets.

As a recognized business speaker and performance coach, James has spoken to hundreds of public and private companies in more than 70 countries. His clients include financial institutions, software companies, the military, the healthcare industry, financial institutions, training and development divisions of large corporations and major non-profit organizations. Companies, associations, universities and business schools including - IBM Corporate, U.S. Coast Guard, Lockheed Martin and The Princeton Center for Leadership Training - have quoted Mapes in training manuals and textbooks.

James Mapes personal goal of living an exceptional life is reflected in both his business activities as well as his recreational pursuits, which range from scuba-diving, ballooning, racecar driving, Kempo Karate, and world travel, to an avid interest in reading. His two highly regarded books are Quantum Leap Thinking: An Owner's Guide to the Mind and The Workbook: The Magic of Quantum Leap Thinking. His new book Imagine That! Igniting Your Brain for Creativity and Peak Performance is scheduled for publication in the summer of 2015 and his newest 2-CD program – Patient Pre-Op/Post-Op Healing Therapy – was released January 2013.

James Mapes presentations are personal, interactive and humorous. Above all, he creates results and makes a lasting difference in the energy level, commitment and productivity of each individual in his audience.